As September nears, I would like to begin posting about our homeschool plans for the year. Math seems like a fairly easy place to start, and we actually did begin it this week.
We have in the past used both Math-U-See and LIfe of Fred (see this earlier post on LOF) and will continue to use both this year, though in a slightly different way. I have one child still in what might be considered the “elementary years”, at least as far as LOF is concerned. She is on MUS Delta which teaches division. Since we went through the LOF elementary books last year, the plan this year is for her to do the intermediate books. These will be done once a week or so as a read aloud with me. I expect the other children may try and listen in too. I know they say LOF can be a stand-alone curriculum for the early years, but I have never been quite confident enough to do this so MUS will still be her primary curriculum. A note on how we use MUS: I don’t tend to make my kids do every problem. If they get A right, they can usually skip B and C. The D page of a lesson usually introduces more review material so I will make them do that, and depending on how they do, parts of E and F too. Typically, toward the end of Delta, when one gets to real long division, I have children skip problems just because it is too many to do at once without one’s brain going googly. I’d rather have them do a couple of problems well than stumble through half a dozen.
My 11-year-old daughter is on algebra this year, I am also having her use MUS as her primary math. Though she is very verbal, the most of any of my kids, she doesn’t seem to get math concepts well from Fred’s narrative style so I would rather have her do MUS first. I am hoping there is time to then read Fred’s algebra book too, even if we don’t do all the problems.
My eldest, who is now 13, is doing LOF Advanced Algebra (note that LOF does Algebra 2 first then geometry, while MUS reverses this order). He has always taken naturally to math and finds it easy to learn from Fred. He can work through LOF on his own though I have told him if he misses problems and doesn’t know why, he should let us know. My plan is for him to use the MUS test booklet after he has finished Fred as a way to double-check that he has no gaps. The test booklet gives one test per chapter and if there are ones on which he seems to have missed something, we can then review that chapter in MUS without him having to do the whole curriculum.
For my almost 10-year-old, the plan is similar. We are starting with MUS and will use LOF to review and fill in any gaps. He is on fractions, which is the first level for which LOF has a thicker volume which seems like it could stand on its own as a curriculum (I know they say the elementary books can but I am just not there yet). I am not as confident in his abilities to read Fred and get the concepts but I figured I would give him a shot at it and see how he does. We can always switch back to MUS as his primary curriculum.
One more thing, I had been having ym oldest two read through First Lessons in Geometry and they will ocntinue with that, reading and answering questions orally about it.
And that is our math plan for this year.